How to Get a Job in Artificial Intelligence

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Artificial intelligence (AI) jobs are in demand, and this rapidly growing industry will continue expanding with technological advances. Find out the educational requirements and some top AI jobs with this guide on how to get a job in AI.

[Featured Image] An artificial intelligence engineer sits at a laptop and works on applications for artificial intelligence jobs.

To get a job in artificial intelligence (AI), you’ll want to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related major. Also consider pursuing a postgraduate degree and building your experience and portfolio. Learn more about various jobs you can get in AI, the skills and educational requirements needed to enter the field, salary information, and possible career paths you can take in AI.

Investigate jobs in AI 

The first step to getting started is to research which jobs within the field of AI you’d like to pursue so that you can tailor your education and build your skills as needed. Indeed reports the top 10 jobs involving AI skills as:  

  • Director of analytics: Directs the data analytics and data warehousing departments and is in charge of research, development, and implementation of relevant data systems

  • Principal scientist: Designs, executes, and documents research experiments in many fields and industries as part of a research team

  • Machine learning engineer: Generates programs that enable machines to take actions without being specifically directed to perform various tasks

  • Computer vision engineer: Uses computer vision and machine learning research to solve real-world problems in real-time

  • Data scientist: Utilises coding and other computer programming to collate and store data efficiently

  • Data engineer: Finds ways to improve data quality and reliability, combining new information to create formats that machines can read through and understand

  • Algorithm engineer: ​​Assists clients in understanding more prominent data trends and reporting on these trends

  • Computer scientist: Designs innovative uses for new and existing computing technology, solving computing problems in various industries

  • Statistician: Creates or uses different mathematical or statistical theories and methods to gather and explain the numerical data findings for a given project

  • Research engineer: Utilises educated research findings to create a reliable answer for problems at hand

Develop skills needed in AI   

You can expect to hone several skills when preparing to work in AI. While you can explore many branches of AI, you’ll find that most have some core commonalities. You can build many of these skills through self-guided practice, learn via online courses or boot camps, or develop through coursework when earning a degree. 

Learn technical skills 

You’ll notice many jobs in AI rely on proficiency in programming languages and coding. Coding is one of the very first skills learned by many people interested in this field. Expect to also work with a variety of computer systems. A few essential technical skills to build upon include the following:

  • General-purpose languages: Python and C/C++

  • Database management: Apache Cassandra, Couchbase, DynamoDB

  • Data analysis and statistics: MATLAB, R, Pandas

  • AI platforms: Microsoft Azure AI, Google Cloud AI, IBM Watson

  • Data acquisition systems: Physical sensors and wireless sensors

  • Digital marketing goals and strategies 

  • Industry knowledge

Build workplace skills 

Workplace skills aren’t always something you can learn through courses but rather an experience. Consider working on these human skills when thinking about pursuing a career in AI: 

  • Communication skills

  • Effective collaboration 

  • Analytical skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Management and leadership skills

Educational requirements 

Educational qualifications are one of the first requirements you’ll want to meet when breaking into AI. These requirements will vary by job type, whether the position is entry-level or higher, and the industry. 

Understand the degree type 

Expect most jobs in AI to require a bachelor’s degree or higher. For some senior-level positions, you may need a postgraduate degree or no degree, but that’s not too common. Suppose you want to build a career in AI, and are already working within information technology. In that case, you may be able to make the switch by getting training, earning a Professional Certificate or certification, or attending boot camp. As for what field of study to focus on, many individuals working in AI obtain undergraduate degrees in computer science, mathematics, or a related field. 

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Gain certifications 

If you already have your undergraduate degree in a field related to AI, consider enrolling in courses to learn some of the technical skills you’ll need to work in AI. Even if you don’t have your degree, certifications show potential employers that you’re serious about your career goals and make you a more attractive candidate. Some AI certifications to consider include:

  • USAII:  

Certified Artificial Intelligence Engineer

Certified Artificial Intelligence Consultant

Certified Artificial Intelligence Scientist

  • ARTIBA: Artificial Intelligence Engineer

Salary range and job outlook 

The outlook is bright for AI jobs, which is good news for anyone working in the growing field of AI. To encourage leadership, excellence, and a unified AI ecosystem, the Indian government launched the National AI Portal of India, INDIAai, offering aspiring professionals, students, and others a central hub for the latest knowledge and opportunities. 

Additionally, in 2021, the joint United States and Indian initiative, the US–India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI), was launched to increase opportunities for collaboration and eliminate barriers to India's AI growth. The growing drive to advance AI in India also offers opportunities for job growth in a high-paying industry. The annual wage for computer scientists averages ₹28,00,000 [1]. 

Glassdoor in India reports base salaries for the following AI jobs in India as of February 2024:

  • Artificial intelligence engineer: ₹7,20,000 [2]

  • Machine learning engineer: ₹12,33,000 [3]

  • Robotics engineer: ₹5,48,983 [4]

  • Data analyst: ₹6,50,000 [5]

  • Computer vision engineer: ₹7,47,370 [6]

  • Data scientist: ₹14,54,305 [7]

Explore possible career paths in AI 

Four of the most common occupations in the AI field are machine learning engineer, robotics engineer, computer vision engineer, and data scientist. Getting on a career path that leads to one of these jobs is a smart move if you plan a long-term career in AI. 

For example, one possible career path to becoming a machine learning engineer would begin by getting hired into an entry-level AI job like a software engineer, software programmer, or software developer. You'll need a bachelor’s degree for these entry-level jobs.

Your next step is to earn your master’s degree in data science, computer science, software engineering, or similar. You may also want to work on gaining some certifications, building your skills, and creating your portfolio. Finally, apply for the machine learning engineer position, an upper-level position that pays very well. It’s one of the highest-paying positions in the field of AI.

Next steps 

When you’ve investigated the field of AI and found a career that’s right for you, it’s time to get started earning your degree, gaining certifications, building your experience, and creating your portfolio. If you need some help finding courses or degree programmes that would be helpful to you on your road to a career in AI, turn to Coursera. 

If you're ready to earn a degree, you have several options available through Coursera. You could pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of London or a Master of Science in Data Science from the University of Colorado Boulder, for example.

If you are already in the AI field, you can boost your professional credentials with a Professional Certificate from IBM in Applied AI, Data Science, AI Engineering, or Machine Learning.

But if you are still deciding whether the field of AI is for you, consider a beginning course to gauge your level of interest. Examples include Introduction to Artificial Intelligence by IBM or AI for Everyone by DeepLearning.AI.

Article sources


Glassdoor India. “Computer Scientist Salaries in India,,5_IN115_KO6,25_KE26,50.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed February 2, 2024.

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